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snack shelf and freezer case. It is transformed into beverages, condiments and baked goods of all kinds. They also appeal to all ages and
"There is something special about blueberries and each day there is
new research supporting health benefits," Payne says. "This includes
antioxidants, anti-aging and other benefits."
Blueberries in fruit tarts and baked goods, in general, are ubiquitous
these days. Examples include everything from blueberry pizza, blueberry pie, blueberry muffins, to blueberry cereals, blueberry confections and blueberry breakfast biscuits.
Product designers are meeting demand for "good, healthy ingredients"
in their products by including blueberries in dessert sauces, creme
brulees, or in cakes laced with blueberries. In fact, fruit is used to
garnish indulgent treats as a way to grant permission to the reluctant.
Fruit-based smoothie-cakes take advantage of blueberries in the form
of purees and concentrates as do so-called "nutritious" cakes using
"There is something special about
blueberries and each day there is new
research supporting health benefits."
US HIGHBUSH BLUEBERRIES, ANGHINET/STOCK.ADOBE.COM
Thomas Payne, U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council
Chocolate makers have gotten on the antioxidant bandwagon, touting
good health as another plus for their food. The addition of blueberries makes chocolate even more glamorous in chocolate port bites
with blueberries, chocolate-covered blueberries and rich chocolate
desserts. Blueberries and dark chocolate co-star in cookies, pastries
and even cheese cakes. Blueberries provide an acidic note that adds
the perfect accent to rich desserts, chocolate and otherwise. The
blueberry image is used to imbue products with a virtuous and planetfriendly aura.
U.S. highbush blueberries continue to thrive with production acres,
farming and processing efficiencies. Fresh blueberry production
begins in April and ends in late September and early October. The peak
of North American frozen production is in June through August.
Highbush blueberries are marketed as both fresh and frozen. Fresh
blueberries are mainly harvested by hand. Blueberries for the frozen
market, known as process blueberries, are machine harvested. Frozen
blueberries, available year-round, are as flavorful as fresh. Harvested
blueberries are promptly frozen to retain flavor and ensure freshness
with good texture, shape and color. With good volumes across the
United States, highbush blueberries provide opportunities for manufacturers to incorporate more healthful blueberries into products.
With fruity flavor and a healthy profile, blueberries give products lush
taste, broad appeal and a clean label. Virtually fat-free, low in sodium,
carbohydrates and cholesterol, blueberries are a delicious source of
Vitamin C and manganese.
Fresh fruits including blueberries contain many naturally occurring
antioxidants and consequently are a good choice for consumers
looking to protect their bodies against the damaging effects of free
radicals and chronic diseases associated with the aging process.
Blueberries are nutritionally dense, low in calories and virtually fatfree. They contain no cholesterol, are a source of fiber and contain
vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Finally, as far as perception goes, blueberries benefit from a kind of
double vision. They get all the love from their long-time association
with wholesomeness, but they are also the darling of today's nutrition
deconstructionists. So blueberries are seen as both old-fashioned and
current and can be a pretty good bet as an ingredient for food crafters
seeking to develop products with as wide appeal as possible.
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